It is a well-known fact that in the early years post independence until 1987 under Joshua Nkomo, Zapu used to be a household name, drawing its support in the whole of Matabeleland, Midlands and parts of Mashonaland. Had it not been for the help of the British who rigged the 1980 elections in favour of Zanu, Zapu could have taken over the rule of Zimbabwe and it could have own the 1985 elections again. The people of Matabeleland despite living under the Gukurahundi sword were united under their party which saw the intensification of the killings in the mid 80s.
In a bid to end the mass killings of Matabeleland people, Joshua Nkomo was forced to sign the Unity Accord on 22 December 1987 and thereby marking the total death of Zapu in Zimbabwean politics. As a result, the 1990 and 1995 elections were a lone horse race. Zanu had noone to challenge it for any seat.
Things only changed in 1999 when the MDC was formed. In their first election participation, they shook Zanu heavily, taking over the support base that the defunct Zapu was enjoying.
Shortly, Zapu was formed under the leadership of Dumiso Dabengwa, the once adored member of the Joshua Nkomo Zapu. More unfortunate, its resurrection saved no great purpose as the MDC continued as it still continue to dominate in the region. Now under pressure to beat the MDC in the open play in Matabeleland and feeling loose of the grip of the region to the secessionists, Zanu has hatched yet a similar plan to repel those threats. Pushed again by the willingness to reestablish good ties with all that matters in politics particularly the West and America, Zanu can not continue banking on the act of repressing the people of Zimbabwe and thus it has devised a more sophisticated mean to split the opposition support and defeat the secessionists minds.
A reliable source has informed me that during the course of the year, a new party with both the national and regional/secessionist outlook is set to be unveiled. An academic in Dr Samukele Hadebe and the seasoned politician in Joshua Mhambi are reported to be foot soldiers trotting the globe galvanising support for it. The party will have a national outlook in the sense that it will recognise the borders of the unitary Zimbabwe while it will disguise much as a separatist organisation, renaming many places and sections of the region after the yesteryear heroes of Matabeleland and advocate much for the rights of Matabeleland people.
At the time when fears of the secessionist war are growing each day in the country, we are waiting to see until the next coming election if this new Zanu pf plan will have succeeded in fighting off both the secessionists and the opposition advancements.
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